Posted: July 13, 2016. 2:31 p.m. CST.
By Aaron Humes: Amidst heavy concern over crime, in November of 2012, Government invoked a provision in the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, declaring five specific sections of Belize City – all within the Lake Independence area – “crime ridden areas.”
As reported by the Amandala at the time, the security forces—police and their military support officers—could conduct, quote, “search of any premises, place, vehicle, person or thing upon reasonable suspicion of being thereon or therein any unlawful drug or any unlicensed or prohibited firearm or ammunition, or any unlawfully obtained article or thing, or any person wanted in connection with a criminal investigation; seize, take away and detain any vehicle or article which he reasonably suspects is intended to be used, or has been used, for or in connection with the commission of any offence or is or has been unlawfully obtained or possessed…”
There were also expanded powers of arrest, as the order empowers the security forces to “…arrest any person upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or of being about to commit an offence; and temporarily establish a cordon around the special area or any part thereof for a period not exceeding three hours in any period of twenty-four hours and restrict the freedom of movement of persons and vehicles into or out of any area so cordoned.”
We asked Officer Commanding Eastern Division South, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams if the order were still in effect. He said no, and that “we are not at that stage yet and we will do all we can to avoid reaching that stage.”
Subsequent research revealed that the orders were for a maximum of 30 days under the law.
© 2016, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.